WASHINGTON -- Teresa Chambers has become the new Chief of Police for Riverdale Park, a town in Prince George's County, Maryland. Chambers, a 30-year law enforcement veteran was the former Chief of Police for Durham, North Carolina, and was the first female Chief of the U.S. Park Police.
In 2004, political appointees within the U.S. Interior Department, which includes the National Park Service and the U.S. Park Police, removed Chief Chambers for answering honestly questions from the Washington Post about understaffing in the Park Police and the consequences for public safety.
Her legal challenge to that action, which has significant relevance in Arizona and nationwide, is now awaiting a ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
Chief Chambers issued the following statement upon taking over her new duties:
"The honor of having been named as the new Chief of Police for the Town of Riverdale Park does not alter the vigorous pursuit of legal challenges seeking redress for actions taken against me as the Chief of the United States Park Police. One of the factors I considered in accepting the position as Chief of Police in Riverdale Park is the appreciation expressed by Town leaders for the values of honesty and integrity in public service, values that I will continue to uphold."We are delighted that Chief Chambers is back in law enforcement just as we are sure that she will prevail in her case against the Interior Department," stated Jeff Ruch, the executive director for Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) which is spearheading Chief Chambers' legal efforts.
While the wheels of justice in my case continue to turn slowly, it is time for me to pin on a badge and get back to my profession - law enforcement. I am grateful to the Town of Riverdale Park for providing me that opportunity, and I look forward to being fully engaged as the town's Chief of Police."
- adapted from PEER